Russell "Russ" A. Robertson

November 16, 1929 ~ October 27, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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Russell "Russ" Robertson Obituary

Russell  “Russ” Robertson, 93, of Ely, passed away on Friday, October 27, 2023 at Carefree Living in Babbitt. 

Russ was born in Willard, Wisconsin on November 16, 1929. 

Russ’s parents had to move in October due to the Great Depression, so his dad moved to Montana where the work was, and his mother moved to Wisconsin to live with her aunt and uncle. In 1936 his parents moved to Ely, MN and built a house. 

Russ had three brothers: Ernest Jr., Frank and Donald (Scotchy). Russ’s dad passed away in 1946 from a mining accident at the Pioneer Mine. 

He was also preceded in death by his mother Hannah, his brothers, Frank, Donald and Ernie and nephew, Ronnie Robertson. 

Russ is survived by nieces Dawn (Tim) Ratkowski, Holly Robertson and Lori Schreiner and nephews Terry Robertson (Lynn West) and Patrick Robertson; cousins Roger Skraba, Jerome Skraba, Darrell (Lisa) Skraba, Jim Skraba, Dennis Feroni, Sharon Zaverl, Lisa Fortney, Ed Skraba, Anne Skraba; numerous grand nieces and nephews in Wisconsin and a number of relatives from Canada. 

In 1947, Russ graduated from Ely High School and went to the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis where he received a two-year degree in accounting. Russ’s first job was for a construction company. After that he got a job at the Ford Garage. In 1962, Russ worked for Ely Auto Parts on Sheridan Street. Russ bought Ely Auto Parts in the 1970s. He owned it for more than 20 years before he decided to close it in 1996. 

Russ spent his spare time fishing and hunting. He loved to spend time in the woods.

He served as president of the Ely-Winton Rod & Gun Club. He helped start and volunteered for the Ely sled dog races along with the snowmobile races in Winton in the early 1970s. 

Russ was an officer of the Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club when it was first organized in the 1960s.

During a snowmobile driving test, If a kid didn’t come to complete stop at a stop sign, Russ would raise his hand and wave it in a circle and say “Go around again.”

He was involved with building the Tomahawk and Taconite Snowmobile Trails with the Ely Igloo crew.

Russ was the president of the BWRC (Boundary Waters Resources Committee) during the 1978 Boundary Waters battles.

 Russ served on the City of Ely Police Commission. Russ volunteered his time from 1959 to 2011 teaching gun safety training and was recognized by the DNR, receiving a plaque for 50+ years of service. He also taught youth snowmobile training from 1971 to 2011 and helped with youth ATV training. Russ had a very kind heart and loved to give gifts.

While he is no longer a fugitive from Smuk’s Farm, Russ was proud that he lived the longest of anyone in his family.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, November 3, 2023 at 10 a.m. at Kerntz Funeral Home. 

Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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Funeral Service
November 3, 2023

10:00 AM
Kerntz Funeral Home
140 E. Sheridan St.
Ely, MN 55731


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